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We are Women

Katherine Ormerod

By Theo Beckett

Author Theo Beckett

Former Grazia Features Editor and Founder and Editor of digital platform Work Work Work, Katherine Ormerod, is a fashion industry expert challenging the face of the ever-evolving digital world for women.  Katherine doesn’t believe in perfectionism, and likes to share a balance of real life in her blog.

For a sneak peak of Katherine Ormerdod behind the scenes, press play…

Joining us this season for our 3 Ways to Wear feature, Katherine will be showing us how she styles up the new trends, working them up into 3 gorgeous looks, to inspire your style.

To find out a little more about her we asked her a few questions…

Katherine Ormerod We Are Women Styling Dress

Katherine Ormerod

Founder and Editor of Work Work Work

Tell us about your venture – Work Work Work.

Work Work Work is an anti-perfectionism project—a platform for women working in aspirational industries,l including social media, to share the less photogenic aspects of their life.

In the digital landscape the trials and tribulations of life are often completely hidden from view in favour of the more impressive experiences—holidays, hotels, new outfits. I love a gorgeous Instagram image as much as the next woman, but it also makes me feel deeply uncomfortable that we are sending the message to younger generations that life is perfect and easy.

I also wanted to give social media followers the chance to connect with women on the other side of the screens in a different way—one which was less image-based and offers a deeper sense of understanding.

What made you take the leap and go solo? / How did you know it was right for you?

It was a financial consideration really – I loved the job I left to go freelance, but I knew it wouldn’t enable me to achieve my goals. I think that what you’re looking for in a job changes significantly from your 20s to your 30s and for me it was time to take financial responsibility for my future.

What were the biggest adjustments and challenges?

There were (and are still!) so many. I really struggled with getting myself up and dressed for a couple of months when I first started out and found I was feeling really depressed after weeks on end in my pyjamas. It’s also taken ages to let myself off the hook when I don’t have to work—I feel really guilty if I finish up at 3pm on a Tuesday, say, but that’s obviously one of the bonuses of working for yourself, so I’m really trying to learn to let that guilt go.

Work Work Work has been described as an ‘anti-perfectionism’ platform – what does this mean and why do you think there’s such a drive towards ‘perfectionism’ in the work place?

Women put a huge amount of pressure on themselves both in and out of the office—it’s part of our conditioning to expect to excel across the board. The workplace is a highly competitive environment and there’s a feeling that if you project a sense of perfection and having it all together you’ll progress at a quicker rate.

What are the most common topics you encounter / people share on Work Work Work

I try and keep everything really varied, but women often want to share challenges around motherhood, fertility, body issues, relationships and health.

In your interview with The Lifestyle Edit you said ‘fear is a huge part of life’ – what advice do you have for overcoming fear and taking a leap of faith?

You just have to know that everyone is in the same boat. I’m definitely a confident person now, but it wasn’t always that way and I’ve been in hysterical tears and felt trapped by fear several times in my life.

Ultimately with fear it’s about differentiating between things that are dangerous—to your health or life—and things that are just scary. If the worst case scenario is that you end up with your tail between your legs, it’s not a dangerous decision.

When you know you can rely on yourself to do what you need to do to make things work, it takes a lot of the fear out of taking the leap into the unknown.

 What’s the best advice you can give someone who is looking for career empowerment?

For me it’s about having a level of agency over your future. Of course, that’s not something you start off with, but after a decade of working you should have a level of control over where your career is going and the next steps you’d like to take. If you don’t have that, it’s time to think about how you can get it.

How do you unwind and de-stress?

I do a yoga app every morning (I try and do 30 mins, but it’s usually 15 mins!). I also make sure I give myself a break whenever I have a gap—it’s ok to have a little rest if you don’t have a meeting for a couple of hours—of course you can always ‘find’ work to do, but your health and wellbeing is more important. I also have acupuncture twice a month which really is a godsend.

What does your work wardrobe entail?

I’m not very casual, so everything is pretty polished. I love dresses because they’re so simple to slip on and immediate convey femininity. I have a big collection of dresses—they all have defined waists and hemlines from the knee to midi length.

 What has been your biggest or most empowering achievement to date?

Being really honest about the challenges I’ve faced in both my work and personal life. Now no-one can ever throw anything at me—everything is out there and I’m not ashamed of my failures.

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